Murray Rothbard

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Murray Rothbard (1926 - 1995), American economist and political author

On Austrian School of economics

  • "The more consistently Austrian an economist is, the better a writer he will be."

Economics and the public

  • "It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance."
    • Making Economic Sense (1995)
  • "Money is different from all other commodities: other things being equal, more shoes, or more discoveries of oil or copper benefit society, since they help alleviate natural scarcity. But once a commodity is established as a money on the market, no more money at all is needed. Since the only use of money is for exchange and reckoning, more dollars or pounds or marks in circulation cannot confer a social benefit: they will simply dilute the exchange value of every existing dollar or pound or mark. So it is a great boon that gold or silver are scarce and are costly to increase in supply.
    "But if government manages to establish paper tickets or bank credit as money, as equivalent to gold grams or ounces, then the government, as dominant money-supplier, becomes free to create money costlessly and at will. As a result, this 'inflation' of the money supply destroys the value of the dollar or pound, drives up prices, cripples economic calculation, and hobbles and seriously damages the workings of the market economy."
    • "Taking Money Back," The Freeman[1], September and October 1995[2]

Natural Rights

  • "Rights may be universal, but their enforcement must be local."
    • Two Just Wars: 1776 and 1861 (1994)
  • "All government wars are unjust."

On anarchism

  • "I define anarchist society as one where there is no legal possibility for coercive aggression against the person or property of any individual."

On individuals

Adam Smith

  • "The problem is that he originated nothing that was true, and that whatever he originated was wrong ..."
    • An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought (1995)

John Stuart Mill

  • "John Stuart was the quintessence of soft rather than hardcore, a woolly minded man of mush in striking contrast to his steel-edged father."
    • An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought (1995)

Karl Marx

  • "... shameless sponging on friends and relatives ... Marx affected a hatred and contempt for the very material resource he was too anxious to cadge and use so recklessly. Marx created an entire philosophy around his own corrupt attitudes toward money."
    • An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought (1995)

Max Lerner

  • "All my life, it seems, I have hated the guts of Max Lerner. Now, make no mistake: there is nothing personal in this rancor. I have never met, nor have I ever had any personal dealings with, Max. No, my absolute loathing for Max Lerner is disinterested, cosmic in its grandeur. It's just that ever since I was a toddler, this ugly homunculus, this pretentious jackass, has been there, towering over the American ideological scene. In the fifty-five years that I have been aware of Max's presence, in all of his many permutations and combinations and seeming twists and turns, he has taken the totally repellent position at every step of the way."
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